THE BOXER AND THE POET: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki and A Quiet Passion


First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki revolves around a boxer, the titular character, a local Finlandian hero, who is given the chance to go one on one with the world champion in his class, an American.
But there are two issues getting in the way. Olli’s trainer needs him to lose weight to box in a class one level lower than Maki normally boxes in. But even worse, perhaps, Olli is in love. He has met a young women whom he adores and who is accompanying him to prepare for the match.
Nothing much happens in the story. It moves along at its own leisurely pace. It, and Olli, are very ingratiating and likeable and the relaxed nature of it all tends to win you over. Continue reading

SCHOOL DAZED: Graduation


First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
Romanian writer/director Cristian Mungui seared himself upon the eyes of American moviegoers with the breathtaking and powerful drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, an explosive chronicle of someone helping a friend get an abortion under the ruthless Communist dictatorship of Ceausescu.
That film, along with others like The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 12:08 East of Bucharest, California Dreaming’ and Police, Adjective, cemented Romania, along with South Korea, as the countries that are making the best films in the world right now.
Mungui’s new film is Graduation, and it’s marvelous. The story revolves around Romeo, a respected doctor known for not breaking the law or rules. But when his daughter is attacked and becomes distracted, he is willing to do anything he can to make sure she finishes her final exams with high enough scores so she can get a scholarship to Cambridge.
Graduation may not be for everyone. The conflict is subtle, if not extremely subtle, the pacing leisurely. But there’s a madness to this method. In Mungui’s world (here, as well as 4 Months…), rarely does one say exactly what they want or what is expected in exchange. They talk around it and around it, constantly circling each other like fighters who never start punching, until the two participants fully understand what was being said between the lines. Continue reading

ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR: Their Finest and Frantz


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
Their Finest is a movie about the making of a movie. But the creation of the film is done under rather extraordinary circumstances.
First, Hitler is raining bombs down on London during the blitz as the director is calling action.
Second, the film must be made to order and serve a certain propagandistic purpose. Continue reading

HEY, OLD FRIENDS, WHAT DO YOU SAY OLD FRIENDS: Colossal and Truman


First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
In Colossal, the new Sci-Fi, rom com hybrid, Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an alcoholic unemployed journalist who gets thrown out of her boyfriend’s apartment after one drinking binge too many. She returns to her home town where she runs into Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), an old friend she knew as far back as elementary school and only vaguely remembers. He gives her a job at his bar and the next thing you know, a Godzilla like monster is making occasional appearances in Seoul, Korea. And the next thing you know after that, is that Gloria is somehow responsible.
And no, I am not making this up.
Colossal is proof that you can have the most ridiculous, absurd and unbelievable events happen in a movie if the characters react to them in a logical and believable way. Continue reading

3 Women: Personal Shopper, Ghost in the Shell and Beauty and the Beast


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
Kristen Stewart, as far as I was concerned, did not have a particularly auspicious start in films as an actress. She came to fame by making big movies. But I found the Twilight series, and her acting, impossible to watch (I couldn’t get through the first in the franchise). She followed that up with Snow White and the Huntsman, which I did manage to get through, but definitely no thanks to Stewart’s underwhelming performance.
Then something happened. She became good. I was astounded, but still it happened.
This came to pass around the time she made Still Alice and The Clouds of Sils Maria (for which she became the first American to win a César award for acting-here in the supporting actress category). Continue reading

I’M SUPER. THANKS FOR ASKING: The Lego Batman Movie and Logan


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
The LEGO Batman Movie is not a sequel to the wonderful, OMG can you still not believe it not only didn’t win Best Animated Feature at the 2014 Oscars, it wasn’t even nominated, The Lego Movie, but, rather, the newest entry in the franchise. For those of you into esoteric movie references, that’s like the difference between Road to Zanzibar and, say, After the Thin Man.
The Lego Movie was a film that wouldn’t stop and carried you along on its ridiculous back never giving you time to think about it. It had something to say about being a drone versus being a child again, but what made it work was the theme being so secondary you might have missed it and not realize (as one politician didn’t) that the main song, Everything is Awesome, was ironic.
The LEGO Batman movie starts out the same way as action, action, action drives the story backed by a great deal of wit and cleverness. And the opening scenes suggest a movie with all the positives and pleasures of the first one. Continue reading